Books for Bipolar Persons

So I’m in an Indigo bookstore in Toronto. And it’s wonderful, maybe I’ll spend the rest of my vacation in here. 

Anyhoo, apart from checking out my favourite authors and the entire Sci-Fi section, I thought I’d check out the stuff on being bipolar.

And their collection is okay. And they have books about being bipolar, and ones on how to cope with depression.

But here’s the rub. My first impression was that we need a lot less text in the books.

If we’re depressed, the information is too much, too dense. Overwhelming. We simply won’t be able to absorb it.

If we’re manic, we can’t focus, and we need information served in bite sized pieces. 

Our books on coping really need to be written like those in the Children’s section. Just a few big words per page, with lots of colourful diagrams, and elephants and tigers, and called “My Big Book of Bipolar Disorder” or “Teddy learned to Cope with Mania and You Can Too!!”, and be 15 pages long.

Then we may be able to read them.

6 thoughts on “Books for Bipolar Persons

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      1. I just got diagnosed with bipolar didorder 1 and will be sering caseworker soon to see what kind of treatment I will be needing. What meds are you taking that I may consider taking also?


      2. Luis,

        You ask a more complicated question than you think. Remember, I’m not a doctor, and I shouldn’t be offering medical advice.

        Regardless, if you’ve just gotten diagnosed, I strongly recommend that you follow your doctor’s advice.

        If it is recommended that you take meds, you can ask your doctor what percentage of people those meds have helped (it makes them squirm), and you can research the meds yourself. But at the beginning I still strongly recommend that you follow the doctor’s advice and take the meds as prescribed.

        If you can get a combination of therapy and meds, that’s the best thing. A new diagnosis almost inevitably means things have gone a bit haywire in your life, and having therapy to sort out the non-medical problems does help. If the doctor prescribes meds only, asking for at least 6-8 sessions of therapy as well is my best recommendation.


  1. For those looking for a book to support them, may I recommend the Australian authors Susan Tanner and Jillian Ball’s work “Beating the Blues”. At 240 pages, it may seem long, but I found I could dip in and out and it comes with an Index to help one locate topics of interest. It has supported me and helped me understand my disease better. If you cannot get it locally, try the website Hard to source titles from all over the world. Several titles called Beating the Blues exist, so remember “Tanner & Ball”. You will need to open an account with abe and payment is made in US dollars.


  2. I can’t resist plugging my new memoir, which is getting beautiful reviews. It does have a lot of text, though! 😉 I’m honored it was endorsed by Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, author of “An Unquiet Mind” and it’s called “Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder.” Here’s the description:

    “After the birth of her baby triggers a manic maelstrom, Dyane Harwood struggles to survive the bewildering highs and crippling lows of her brain’s turmoil. ‘Birth of a New Brain’ vividly depicts her postpartum bipolar disorder, an unusual type of bipolar disorder and postpartum mood and anxiety disorder.

    During her childhood, Harwood grew up close to her father, a brilliant violinist in the Los Angeles Philharmonic who had bipolar disorder. She learned how bipolar disorder could ravage a family, but she never suspected that she’d become mentally ill—until her baby was born.

    Harwood wondered if mental health would always be out of her reach. From medications to electroconvulsive therapy, from “redwood forest baths” to bibliotherapy, she explored both traditional and unconventional methods of recovery—in-between harrowing psychiatric hospitalizations.

    Harwood reveals how she ultimately achieved a stable mood. She discovered that despite having a chronic mood disorder, a new, richer life is possible. ‘Birth of a New Brain’ is the chronicle of one mother’s perseverance, offering hope and pragmatic advice for those battling mental illness.”


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